We’re not in back-to-school mode at the Rainy Days house; thankfully E is quite settled in his creche having now properly made the move to the Waddling Ducks room – no longer the youngest – and being there throughout the summer. It does make such a difference that he is not only happy to go there each day, but that he genuinely seems to have a good relationship with the wonderful creche workers who keep him entertained, safe, fed, and nurtured throughout the day. He’s gotten to the stage where he is happy to run in the door, not looking back apart from to wave me off as if my presence would be ruining his fun in his Mammy free zone.
However, my entire Facebook feed is taken up by Back To School – it appears that everyone around me is a couple of steps ahead. Tearful goodbyes, last minute dashes for forgotten lunch boxes and grumps about itchy uniform socks lie ahead for much of the people whose lives I watch go by on my Facebook feed and in the blogs I’m a regular reader of. At the same time, a wealth of knowledge is emerging from some of my favourite parenting bloggers, many of them Irish, on a variety of topics around going back to school, or starting for the first time. I thought a roundup was in order, to have the best advice all in one place available to anyone who is looking at a tiny uniform or a little schoolbag and wondering “How exactly does all this work?”, so I’ve put together a little something today. Hopefully you will find them useful – and get to discover more amazing parenting bloggers in the meantime! Read More
I’ve got a problem. The toddler clothes, they make me want to spend far more money than I would normally justify on clothes. The fact that they’ll fit him for a grand total of three weeks is besides the point. There are so many animal prints, how could I leave out any?
I’m trying to be good at the moment, while also wanting to satisfy the part of me that fawns over these ridiculously cute (and functional, I have kept some form of common sense!) tiny clothes which cost me more than my wardrobe does in a year (sigh). It may be down to the fact that it’s not yet hitting the colder weather – sure, the Irish weather can’t decide whether or not it’s adopting a monsoon section to the year, but it’s still sticky warm and summer-clothes-only climate. I’ve restricted myself thus far to a wishlist, a “I’ll get that in a few weeks when I’ve got birthday money/payday/less self restraint” collection which will fill my child’s wardrobe with gorgeous animal prints, beautiful colours and more-cute-than-functional designs. If you’ve got a little boy, most of these clothes are from ranges which start at newborn and go up to 24 months – hopefully you’ll see something you like too! Read More
We in Ireland are in a strange system of living at the moment. Our society, for the most part, is secular, and has been becoming more so this way in the last 20 years than ever before. Our media has been filled with tales of horrific abuses within church-led organisations, regressive attitudes towards things like reproductive rights and same sex marriage, and somewhat of a wall being put up against changing to fit in further with our new century views within the way it has always been. Ireland is known through the world as being a Catholic country, a religious state, despite the fact that our percentage of Roman Catholic citizens has been dropping (a drop of 3% to 84% of population in last census, 2011) and attendance at churches is hitting all time low levels. There is, for the most part, a great deal of separation between Church and State – the two major ties remaining being the health system (in particular reproductive rights issues) and our education system. Read More
I don’t know whether this is the same for everyone or not, but during my pregnancy, it was preached to me from my 12-week appointment how important it would be to breastfeed. The midwives were encouraging and full of information, and leaflets outlined the various benefits that breastmilk would give to the newborn babies. That said, I never found them to be overly pushy or preachy, they did leave it up to the individual, but it was not left as something vague just how much breastfeeding was expected of each mother to give the best start to their child in life.
I was told when E started crèche that he would catch every bug going, those were the breaks when we were putting him in contact with snot covered children for multiple hours, where it wasn’t a million percent sanitised every ten minutes. In my head I put this down as a necessarily ill, bound to happen eventually when he hits school, and the benefits for him, me and our relationship were much higher than the pains of sniffles and coughs. The line “living in the doctors” was mentioned a few times. He’s certainly fulfilling that prophecy. We’re lucky my GP is close by and lovely, and that he’s not one of those children who screams the place down when in any proximity of the place. Sure, she has the cool fire truck toy in her surgery, he practically runs into the place excited (sick? Him? Never healthier than in the doctors waiting room!). Read More
Two years ago, after a rather mixed up bank holiday weekend, I took a pregnancy test, because hey, what else would you be up to on a bank holiday Monday night? It said Pregnant, 1-2 Weeks. 2 years on, I’ve now got a 16 month old who is walking, talking and giving attitude falling asleep in the room next to mine, and it has me thinking of things I’d like to say to that girl, sitting on the bed staring at the digital screen in disbelief.
My gorgeous bundle is no longer a bundle. He started out as one; all 5lb 5 ounces, newborn head scented, long haired, scrunchy faced and perfect, as all newborns are. He’s now big and bold, full of attitude, able to run, chase, crawl and cause a tornado of chaos and fun everywhere he goes. 16 months ago, he was completely dependent, needed me for every little thing bar breathing – today he’s pulling away and wanting to do everything himself but coming back for kisses and Mammy snuggles when he needs them. He’s growing up. No longer a baby; getting to be a big boy, one wobbly step at a time.
So, what exactly is this boy like, all 16 months of him? Read More
When I was in hospital just about to give birth to Eliott (a day or two before the induction); my oldest friend Siobhán, who had seen me through every big and small life event since we were six, came to visit me. With her were two washing baskets, decorated and filled to the brim with goodies, baby necessities and gorgeous baby clothes – the perfect new baby basket. She had literally thought of everything. It was definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received, and something I would love to replicate. As it happens, a rather awesome blogger friend of mine, the lovely Suzy from The Airing Cupboard, is expecting a little boy in the next few weeks, and as I understand that having a baby isn’t just a time to focus on the baby but also the new Mama, I’ve decided to throw together something similar; a little baby basket, a hamper of joy, love and Mammy treats.
When you’re at home with a toddler, days can get pretty repetitive. Unless you set up different things to do during the week, it can feel like Groundhog Day. Every day involves chasing a football around the living room. My life soundtrack is currently the songs from Baby Genius. It’s worse when it rains – yes, I’ve still not learned to love the rain – because as I don’t drive, there is little to do in the city centre with a toddler and outside of that isn’t much of an option. There are only so many visits to the kiddie library we can do in one week, so I decided one morning that we’d change tack and head to Chuckies Play Zone, the closest soft play centre to us.
It’s a sign your life must be going okay enough when you find yourself worrying about fictional characters. That, or you really need to get out and see other adults and talk about things that aren’t fictional animals and toilet related. Lately, we’ve seen a lot of Peppa Pig (I know, bad Mammy, but he’s been sick and whiny and the pink little brat keeps him quiet and makes him smile. Instead of whinge. So bite me.) and other such creatures. We’re slowly recovering from the great Netflix purge of Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam in one-fell-swoop (will nobody think of the parents??) and are finding our way into other shows, some marginally more educational, some a lot more eye-scratch-out-worthy. These shows have made me question some things though… has anybody else had these thoughts?
When you’re younger and playing with dolls and pretending they are your baby, there are a certain few actions which are considered normal doll play. Generally baby will cry, baby gets fed, baby gets nappy changed, baby sleeps. Of late, some dolls are built to encourage breastfeeding, grand so. Baby might be sick and need to see doctor so off Dolly trots with Mammy to another child with a plastic stethoscope to be told baby has a cold/chickenpox/the plague, to give it Calpol and it’s grand (see, realism about our health system from the age of four).
While baby doll does indeed get nappy change, that is where the focus on the contents finish. Oh, how I wish the same was true of real parenting.
I gave birth in March 2014. My son is 15 months old this week, and the question has been asked, more than once, as to when I’m going to give him a baby brother or sister. If I’ll go again. For most it isn’t a question of if, rather when, as having an only child is an anomaly in society. I wasn’t aware that when the animals went two by two on to the ark they were in fact siblings, that does make the story a whole lot more weird, but it appears that if society says children must come in twos that theory had to come from somewhere. Read More
The very lovely Kellie from My Little Babog asked for volunteers this week for co-hosting the fantastic Link-A-List linky as Ellen has hopped on a plane to sun and sand, so I jumped at the chance to take part. For anyone new to my blog, my name is Lisa, I’m a parenting and lifestyle blogger who tells tales of nappies, post natal depression and general ups and downs with a toddler in Cork, Ireland. Read More
Last week, I was asked to contribute to an article about becoming a mother at a younger than average age. It stemmed from a statement made by an obstetrician that encouraged women to start their families younger in an attempt to lower the amount of high risk pregnancies which occur more frequently after the age of 30. At 23 with a 14 month old, I definitely fitted into the “mother at a younger age” category, so I said my piece and went to get some photos done with said toddler for the paper.
Ah, reading, my old friend. Before I had a baby, I was one of these people who liked to read for pleasure, a book before bed, as a method of relaxing. These days, its more like my head hits the pillow and I black out until inevitably the child wakes up and wants the bottle which is right next to his head handed to him. My book shelves have changed greatly; my library membership now more utilised in the children’s section than the adults – although this is something I’m working on. Here is a look at what books we’ve been reading lately.
In the last week, we’ve gained a new housemate. They weren’t very welcome to begin with, taking up space and making everyone miserable, completely inconsiderate. At this point they’ve overstayed their welcome and don’t even bother taking the bins down or doing the dishes. On top of everything, the rent isn’t being paid. Gastroenteritis, you’re a ridiculously bad lodger, but for whatever reason we can’t get rid of you. Read More
It is that time of year again. Summer is winking at us around the corner and despite the apocalyptic weather at the weekend, I’m feeling confident in my choice to lay out the sun cream and the sunglasses for tomorrow. It’s Leaving (and Junior) Cert time. The Irish educational system has two set exams each year that each student in 3rd and 6th year must take.
These days Iâ€™m the mother of a rather adventurous, loud, mad-as-a-hatter 14 month old boy who I canâ€™t really get away with calling my baby anymore â€“ heâ€™s the light of my life and the reason Iâ€™m driven insane all in one fell swoop. However, when I started this blog I was heavily pregnant and for the most part a bit clueless about the whole process of becoming a parent and the changes it would bring to my life. Iâ€™ve written before about the things motherhood has taught meÂ hereÂ andÂ here, but all of that skips over the whole question of getting the baby out of me, a thought which absolutely terrified me (I donâ€™t have much of a pain threshold and an addiction to One Born Every Minute really wasnâ€™t helping).
So, last year the very lovely Learner Mama held a linky on her blog; 10 things learned from Motherhood. Like many other parenting bloggers; I contributed my piece detailing all of the knowledge I’d learned in the first 8 weeks of motherhood. You can check that out here, and I definitely recommend checking out the other bloggers involved in the linky, far more experienced than I am.
Needless to say, a year on, there has been a lot more learning in the meantime. So I decided it was time for an update; sharing the knowledge of my learnings in the hopes that perhaps it will help some random google search to find an answer (because really, people do search for some really strange things).
I’ve read my fair share of parenting books. Most of them while pregnant, unsure, terrified and hoping that divine wisdom would help me remove the watermelon I was growing in as painfree a way as possible. Since his birth, theres been a number of books enter my house telling me how to feed, dress, treat my son as he grows up to ensure that he’s the best he can be. Oh precious firstborn, I did my research on you. Most of it is a fat lot of nothing – Annabel Karmel recipes don’t seem to work on him, we’ve gone through numerous sleep books. None of them made me laugh (apart from the ones with seriously unrealistic expectations). None until “I Forgot To Take My Pill – An Honest Diary of a First Time Mum”, by the very funny Sharyn Hayden, which launched this week. Read More
In an attempt to give my 13 month old a routine; the decision was made on a random Thursday to ensure his solo naptime was in his cot, after crèche. Not the buggy. Not the bed. Certainly not on Mama’s chest on the sofa.
It’s certainly going well.
A while ago, I was wise enough to tell the internet about my incredible feat of parenting; my then almost toddler was sleeping in his own cot at a reasonable hour without major drama or fuss and for the most part staying there. A few nights in a row, I’ll add. I should have shut my mouth; we are right back where we started (regretting ever buying the useless piece of furniture he’s meant to be sleeping in). Read More
So unless you’ve been living under a rock, yesterday the English royal family welcomed a new baby, a little girl, and the media attention stopped focusing on when Kate was going to drop the baby, and started on what she was going to name her. There are bookies filling up with odds on different names, from the traditional to the not so traditional (I’m not sure Daenerys Windsor will quite work out so well). Twitter feeds are wall to wall royal baby. I must admit, I’m a bit curious myself. A name is interesting; its rarely just a passing whim when you’re imposing it on your child for life. So what is involved in name selection? It’s really not as easy as some people make it look… Read More
My now-toddler has been a life changing transformation for me. Not least in the amount of effort it now takes to leave the house. No longer is it a quick check for keys, wallet, phone; oh no, leaving the house now requires military precision, the nappy bag, the kitchen sink, numerous toys and a few dashes back in the door having realised something essential has been left behind. Most of the time I’m listening to comments like “You’re not going for a week!”, but most things in that bag are things I know that if I don’t have them, I will somehow need them.
When you’re getting ready to have a new baby, whether your first or your 2nd/3rd/19th, the hospital bag is one of the most important things to have planned out. I would suggest not taking the approach I took, which involved a lot of putting it off until it was a little too late and ending up stuck in hospital trying to assemble the bag in dribs and drabs. The earlier the better is the general rule with these things, and if there is a next time, the bag will be being prepared from the 20 week scan!